Thursday, May 14, 2009

Recipe Books and Social Media

Christopher Penn makes an excellent point about the brand building capabilities of those old recipe books your grandmother used to have. You know the ones, published by Kraft or Good Housekeeping. I encourage you to read his full post, but in a nutshell he makes the point that these cookbooks were the ultimate in the soft sell because every recipe included one of the company's products. They also had a timeless quality that added value to consumers for years and years.

Christopher compares this to the shameless self promotion that marketers employ on social media networks, and why it is such a dismal failure. I agree. Because social marketing is about conversation, we as marketing communicators have an opportunity to talk to consumers, hear their wants and needs, and then address them. We can turn blogs into the recipe books of the future by sponsoring a place in cyberspace where consumers can find information that transcends the products we are selling and provides them with value. We can also use microblogging to provide that same information in a more immediate and personal way. In short, we can give them the experience that is what brand building is all about.

I would encourage all of you to visit your local flea market and check out some of those old company-sponsored cookbooks. Maybe keep one out on your desk to remind you that adding value is what it's all about.

1 comment:

  1. I remember owning a Campbell's Soup cookbook that promised something like 500 recipes - because each one had a bunch of variations. One of them was putting cheddar cheese soup in brownies.